Dating Apps, Marriage Classifieds Now Allow Us To ‘Flaunt’ Our Vaccinated Status
People and corporations are trying to combat vaccine hesitancy by offering love as a bribe. New features incorporated into Tinder and OkCupid allow users to display their vaccination status and push their matches to choose vaccinations through a host of features including stickers, badges, guides, and quizzes.
This isn’t the first such incident. Last week Goan citizen activist Savio Figueiredo created a spoof matrimonial ad that involved the phrase “Vaccinated bride seeks vaccinated groom” as a campaign after he lost several friends to the second wave of the Covid19 pandemic.
Vaccines for love is a worldwide phenomenon — several people around the world are proudly stating their vaccination status to tell others where they stand and to avoid people who believe vaccines cause autism. The U.S White House has supported dating app badges, stating that it may help people start a cultural conversation about the positive effects of getting vaccinated.
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There’s no dearth of the necessity of vaccine advocacy in India, where vaccine hesitancy is plaguing both urban and rural populations for several reasons.
However, what’s lost in translation is the inequity unique to India on lines of caste and class. Covid19 has never been an equalizing pandemic. With vaccination, several individuals — mostly poor individuals, migrants, trans individuals, etc. — do not have access to the vaccine or will not be able to take it for a long, long time due to bureaucratic, unequal healthcare practices. Thus, using people’s access to healthcare as a judgment criteria could further inherent biases when it comes to dating and marriage.
In the end, whether or not to use these badges depends on personal preference. However, the subtle inequities at play within seemingly innocuous features might be something to consider before jumping on board.